70201As a group, aloes really deserve more respect. Many will naturalize and thrive with only occasional watering through summer. Candelabra aloe, Aloe arborescens, wants a bit more water than most other aloes, but not much. It looks like a sensitive jungle plant, but is surprisingly durable, and very easy to propagate. Any pruning scraps can be plugged wherever new plants are desired.

The foliage alone is striking. Some might say that the loosely arranged foliar rosettes are sloppy. Others might say they are sculptural. The long and curved leaves are outfitted with prominent but soft marginal teeth. Some specimens have narrower leaves that are almost curled. ‘Variegata’ is striped with creamy white. Mature plants may form dense mounds more than six feet high. Hummingbirds and bees really dig the flashy bright reddish orange floral trusses that bloom on tall stems in winter.


23 thoughts on “Candelabra Aloe

  1. I have made an essence from the Yellow Flowering Aloe…a plant I have in profusion here in France…they are all tucked up in the Poly Tunnel keeping out of the frosts at the moment…The Flower Essence is great for workaholics that over do it! This Red one is spectacular.

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    1. Is an Aloe arborescens with yellow flowers? I had one when I lived in town. It looked just like the orange flowering one, but with yellow flowers. There are a few variations. Most of the aloes I see with yellow flowers are other specie, and some have pale greenish yellow flowers that are not as pretty as their foliage is.


      1. 130?! That is WAY more than what I would have guessed. I have not seen more than just a few, although I have seen some that could have been variants of Aloe arborescens.


    1. We’re in Pennsylvania and planted assorted wildflower seed strips last summer, drew dozen+ hummingbirds as they had advertised. I also grow herbs that bring various kinds of bees.

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  2. I wonder if this could be grown to bloom inside? We grow what we think of as the ‘medicinal’ aloes inside here in Pa, but have never seen blooms. Ps really appreciate your informative posts.

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    1. Even if the happened to bloom inside, the flower stalks would likely be etiolated and weak, with fewer paler flowers. I have seen them bloom in sheltered situations, and they are not nearly as pretty. They really like to be out in the weather. The Aloe arborescens is often sold as Aloe vera. Actually several aloes are often sold as Aloe vera, except for the real Aloe vera. That is actually rare because it is not much to look at. I am pleased that you enjoy my articles


    1. It does not like frost; but is very conducive to staying in a large pot. However, it eventually gets too big, so must be pruned back. It always looks bad when cut back, but recovers nicely, and the pruning scraps can be rooted as cuttings. It gets etiolated as a houseplant, and would probably never bloom. Potted specimens would want to be outside in the weather when they can be, and then moved to shelter before frost. It does not like humidity, so might prefer to be in full sun and good air circulation in North Carolina, but I really do not know.


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